"...and I will dwell in the House of the LORD forever!"

Monday, April 26, 2010

"Truthful in the Trap"

You are moments away from accomplishing your life’s dream! You make a small mistake that will cost you the dream. But if you don’t say anything, you might just get away with it! Would you own up to the mistake, or would you keep quiet and marvel in your accomplishment? This test of time took toll on April 18th in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

When roll is called for Professional Golfers, most people think of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and a host of others with “Green Jackets.” Brian Davis usually doesn’t make the list, and reasonably so. He hasn’t won a PGA Tour event, but on April 18th at the Verizon Heritage, Davis made a 30 foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to force a playoff against Jim Furyk. On the first hole of the playoff, Davis hit his second shot in the sand trap left of the 18th green. When he was about to take his third shot out of the trap, Davis struck a loose weed in his back swing. You might say, “What’s the big deal?” Well, according to USGA (United States Golf Association) rules, if a player hits a loose impediment (weed, stick, etc.) in his backswing, it’s an automatic two stroke penalty! A two stroke penalty is devastating for a professional golfer, but for Davis fighting in a playoff for his FIRST PGA win, it was absolute death! The two stroke penalty cost Davis the tournament, but even more costly, his life’s dream!

It was an unfortunate incident, but what makes this story so powerful? Davis CALLED THE PENALTY ON HIMSELF! As soon as he finished his third shot, he motioned for a tournament official. Davis confessed that he might have struck the weed in his backswing. Tournament play was stopped for several minutes. The cameras zoomed in on the backswing and reviewed it many times. Sure enough, his club grazed the weed in the backswing. Only the most powerful camera footage caught the rule violation. He could have gotten away with it, and he possibly could have won the tournament by making his next putt, but Davis paid a fabulous tribute to the game of golf. Played correctly, golf is one of the most honorable things on earth. In golf, there is nothing more important than honesty! That’s what makes the game so great!

I am unaware of Brian Davis’ spiritual life, but I am aware that his honesty teaches Christians a priceless lesson. I hope that when we stand in the “sand traps” of our lives, we play by the rules. And even when we break the rules, I hope we have the honesty to admit our mistakes! We might think we can get away it! But remember, there is someone watching whose vision is much more powerful than a high powered camera lens! He knows every hair on our head, and “…through him all things were made.” (John 1:3) If we “strike the weed”, He will know!

Monday, April 19, 2010

"Tear Down This Wall!"

On Sunday, April 11th, at 7:07 A.M, the city of Dallas reached another historical milestone. Texas Stadium, the famous home of the Dallas Cowboys, was no more. Thousands of fans watched the destruction of the coliseum where Cowboy heroes such as Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Randy Wright, Jay Novacek, and “Moose” Johnson became legends. Tears flowed through the city as the pages of history were turned.

Texas Stadium housed the Dallas Cowboys for 37 years. Inside the stadium, the Cowboys won 219 games! During the Texas Stadium era, the Cowboys won 5 Super Bowls! Over 1,100 football games were played in Texas Stadium, hosting numerous College Bowls and High School State Playoffs. In fact, the first event ever held in the complex was a Gospel Crusade by Billy Graham that lasted ten days! Texas Stadium cost $25 million to build in 1971 (as opposed to the Cowboys new $1.3 billion stadium), and $6 million to tear down! It was an icon for three and half decades, and in only a minute and half, it was demoted to dust. A new highway interchange will be built where it once stood. The Texas Department of Transportation has a $15.4 million lease to use the space as a staging area for the construction equipment.

Tearing down walls isn’t much fun! As Christians, do we have any walls to tear down? We must tear down personal barriers. Even when we disagree, it’s vital for us to tear down the obstacles that cause division. And we need to tear down the wall of sin that quickly forms the foundation of our lives. Sin keeps us separated from our Creator, and if separation defines our earthly lives, it will also determine our eternity!

Maybe we should turn back time twenty years and listen to President Ronald Reagan when he said, “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!” Those six words ended a forty-five year conflict! “Tear Down this Wall!” It’s only four words, but it makes all the difference!

Monday, April 12, 2010

"Excuses, Excuses!"

Have you seen the beautiful bluebonnets in Central Texas? I don’t know how you could miss them! They paint the hills blue in every direction! Many have said that the bluebonnets this spring are the best they have been in years! The heavy rains of the winter blessed us with fabulous fields of flowers!

But when I was driving the other day, I noticed that not every field carries the same splendor! Some fields are absolutely covered with bluebonnets that are continuing to grow, while other fields have bluebonnets that are beginning to die off. Why is that? The bluebonnets that prosper are rooted in good soil and have dedicated gardeners who come and remove the problem of weeds. The bluebonnets that struggle are not rooted in good soil, and they probably don’t have gardeners who help them.

I imagine that we can connect the fields of bluebonnets with the fields of people on earth. Even when Jesus described the helplessness of the world to His disciples, He said,“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (Matthew 9:37)With that connection, consider this question: Are you growing? Are you continuing to “bloom” for everyone to see? Or are you beginning to “die?” If you aren’t “blooming”, it’s time to grab the “fertilizer” of the Word and start growing again! It’s time to kill the “weeds” of sin which keep you from reaching your full potential! It’s your responsibility to grow in the good soil!

And you know, as long as you continue to grow, the “Gardener” will take care of HIS plants! In fact, He killed all of the “weeds” 2,000 years ago on a hill called Calvary. And even when it appears that the “weeds” are beginning to resurface, the “Gardener” intervenes and destroys them again!

So what excuse do we have not to grow? Jesus tells us in John 15:22 when he says, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.” Has Jesus spoken to us? Has Jesus spoken to you? I’ll let you come up with the excuse!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Looking for "Mr. Right?"

Isn’t it interesting how society strategically searches the Internet for valuable advice? If you need directions, search Google Maps. If you need investing tips, you can pull up hundreds of pages that update everyday with guidance from Wall Street. Even if you want to know something as worthless as “How many fence posts are in the state of Iowa?” the Internet is the solution!

But what about asking the Internet if the man you are dating is “Mr. Right?” I’m not sure why anyone would seek the counsel of cyberspace for something so serious! But since some obviously have, here are the answers for the questionable quest.

How do I know he is Mr. Right?”
He listens to you
2) He connects with you easily
3) He wants the real you
4) He’s trustworthy
5) He enriches your life

Hopefully Godly husbands meet these requirements for their precious wives. But even when we don’t, isn’t it nice that our wives can depend on someone else to be “Mr. Right?” Isn’t it a blessing to know that we can depend on “Mr. Right?”

Does Jesus listen to you? Does Jesus connect with you easily? Does Jesus desire the real you? Is Jesus trustworthy? You better believe it! Does Jesus enrich your life? He wants to and He will! But He can’t enrich your life, until you open the door and let Him begin!

Are you still looking for “Mr. Right?” Look no longer! “I have found a friend in Jesus, He is everything to me!”